Updated: Jan 2
by Susan Hadden, copyright 2020
As I wrote in the first Cold Moon essay, I had cut the trip close to see the full moon rise over the Atlantic, squeezing in another twenty minutes of work to offset any concerns about indulgence, then packed the new daypack my son gave me for Christmas with my warmest winter hat, ski gloves, and my “she pee”. I had purchased it earlier in the year for painting the outside of someone’s house during Covid when coffee shops and the homeowners’ toilets were off limits. It was a good solution, if suspicious looking to see my head sticking out of suburban shrubbery, looking at the eaves I’d painted in a phony posture of assessing my handiwork. From the shrubbery’s point of view.
The drive and walk to the beach were both long and I held my bladder through the moon rise and until I found shelter at a dune far from the tiny figures walking ahead of me at the oceans edge. I easily found the she pee case in the outside easy access pocket of the backpack - the case being worth the price in itself as it turns out that a well-sealed case, and piece of paper towel placed therein, is key to the whole process. I unzipped it, revealing the bright pink device that arrived after ordering what I thought was a tasteful, if not actually camouflaged, green. Could anyone watching the scenery be distracted by this pink flash? And why, no WHEN or WHERE would anyone ever want their she pee to be pink? Maybe dining in the Madonna Inn if the restrooms were being cleaned, or for a sudden need to relieve oneself in the Barbie aisle at a toy store, but even there I’d prefer a hushed medium-dark gray. Probably it was too long past sunset for the pink to be an issue.
I carved a trough in the sand with the heel of my boot to lead the stream away from my body, overly optimistic as it turns out, then pulled all four layers: wind pant, thermal tights, long johns and underpants down as far down as I could in the front to slip the large end of the device against my crotch, centered I hoped, on urethra and all tipped in the correct direction – forward – towards the little funnel hole. Elastic won out, instantly collapsing and pushing aside the funnel. I looked around for any oncoming beach hikers appearing around the dunes and tried again, positioning my back towards the cold wind. The silicone funnel was no match for the compounded strength of four layers of elastic. My bladder held pause to watch the battle that ensued. Gloves came off, literally, as I weighed worst case scenarios of wet pants and being caught with my pants down. I knelt and tried that way, which ruined the strategic angle of flow towards the ground and would have sent the stream to my backside. Arm strength waning after several tries, and in spite of my daily CVS weight exercises of the last whole week, I gave up, white surrender flags taking flight like seagulls in the summer, in the cold winter dusk.
I gave up. Did I say that? I don’t do that easily but urge to pee outweighed my love of a challenge, however contrived. I set my folding beach chair up to my rear, ever watchful, squatted leeside of the shelter and went Full Monty, far shier than was necessary given that A) no one else was near me, B) it was dusk, and C) who cares anyway? I peed forever into the sand with growing comfort replacing the pangs of full bladder. The stream went straight into the ground leaving boots and clothing dry and earlier precautionary trough construction idea unfounded. Enough time passed for me to completely design an ideal pair of she pee friendly pants with a zipper fly ON THE INSIDE OF THE THIGH FOR GODS SAKES so funnel can be easily held in correct position thus eliminating compound S curves in its flexible silicone pathway to freedom. Pants up and she pee back in case and backpack, I walked more lightly into the path of the full moon, so hoping the tiny figure across the inlet next to his prominent RV box, Blue Lives Matter American flag flying high on skinny rod, had his binoculars trained on my full moon adventure.